Do your thing, 21.
The Sixers wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 117-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday night. They won four of five on a difficult trip, playing five games in seven nights.
Joel Embiid dropped 39 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in only three quarters of basketball. Tyrese Maxey continued to shine in the starting lineup with 27-4-5.
P.J. Tucker and Tobias Harris returned to the lineup after missing Monday’s win in Indiana, but James Harden was inactive against the Wolves, as it was the second half of a back-to-back.
Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.
- Philly opened up the game trying to attack Rudy Gobert in space, mainly with the Tyrese Maxey-Joel Embiid combo. This got them decent looks, as Embiid made four of his first five shots. Maxey was 3 of 7 in the first with a couple of wide open looks he just couldn't get to fall.
.@TyreseMaxey for ✌️. pic.twitter.com/gpwi9FRca9— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 8, 2023
- The Wolves were off to a solid start offensively before going cold and missing seven field goals in a row. Though compared to last night, this first quarter felt like a game from 20 years ago. Behind a 15-point first from Anthony Edwards, Minnesota got out to a three-point lead.
- Jalen McDaniels probably should have made a business decision.
ANT THROWS IT DOWN— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2023
Sixers-Timberwolves | Live on TNT pic.twitter.com/DAzpvVMXEw
- The second unit of Milton/House/Niang/McDaniels/Reed struggled to generate much offense. For the first time on this trip, however, their opponent was not shooting at a historic three-point rate, so they were able to stay in the game, despite a really rough lineup.
- The Sixers got some offense going when Maxey checked back into the game. His speed was a real problem for the likes of Gobert and Kyle Anderson. Maxey went into the half with 14 points, an assist, and a steal.
driving the lane and drawing the foul. pic.twitter.com/MOHB1b9xcC— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 8, 2023
- Joel Embiid looked like a completely different person than the Embiid who was protecting the rim last night against the Pacers. Embiid anchored the Philly defense with three blocks in the second quarter, holding the Wolves to just two points over the last four and a half minutes of the quarter. The Sixers held a 13-point lead at halftime.
- For good reason, Embiid’s defense was the talk of the second quarter, but he had himself another excellent offensive night against the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. The big fella picked up right where he left off in the first half, draining threes from the left elbow extended.
- Embiid’s 4 of 4 start from downtown caused the Timberwolves to guard him with Kyle Anderson, sending Gobert to guard Tucker as a roamer. He would finish with a 22-point third quarter.
it's (purple) raining threes! ️ pic.twitter.com/nZqlnbId0S— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 8, 2023
- Both coaches’ refusal to play the McDaniels brothers at the same time was pretty lame, especially as the game started to get out of hand. The Sixers went into the fourth with a 19-point lead.
- Three straight turnovers from the all-bench unit allowed the Timberwolves to cut the lead down to 15, making just about every Sixers fan think, “here we go again.” A quick timeout brought Maxey back into the game, where he pushed the lead back to 20 points. With this step-back three, Maxey scored at least 20 points for the sixth straight game, a personal record.
juked 'em. pic.twitter.com/Ach1cMfxMU— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 8, 2023
- The Sixers finally get a bit of a break in their schedule, as they return home to take on the Portland Trail Blazers Friday at 7 p.m. ET.